Major Shabbir Sharif Shaheed was another gallant Pakistani Army Officer who embraced martyrdom and awarded with Nishan e Haider.
He was born in Kunjah, Gujrat District in Punjab Province of Pakistan on April 28th, 1943. He completed is early education from St Anthony’s High School,
Lahore and during his educational tenure in Government College Lahore he received a call to join prestigious Pakistan Military Academy (PMA), Kakul, Abbottabad.
After commissioning on April 19, 1964 and successful completion of Pakistan Army training and medaled with Sword of Honor, he joined Frontier Force Regiment 6th Battalion.
On 3rd December 1971 the war was also initiated on Pakistani western border apart from East Pakistan. Major Shabbir Sharif Shaheed was commanding two companies of 6thFrontier Force in Sulemanki Sector.
The Indian forces have created an artificial ridge there with maximum elevation towards Pakistani side with an aim to prevent Pakistani forces from advancing and also to gain an aerial advantage. The only access to the Indian Territory for Pakistani Armed Forces was to gain control of two bridges which were occupied by Indian Forces too.
It was very vital for Pakistani armed forces to capture ridge so that not only they can advance but also to prevent any Indian aggression. The Saboona Ridge and Gurmakhera Bridge were must to occupy at any cost by Pakistani Army.
On 3rd December 1971 Major Shabbir Sharif Shaheed launched an offensive to capture Gurmakhera Bridge. On his way to bridge he and his men crossed an Indian village where landmines were installed by enemy. But with vigor Major Shabbir Sharif Shaheed and his men crossed without taking care.
Shabbir and his men took a daring step and reached safely below bunkers by passing through bursts of Indian bullets. They destroyed bunkers with hand grenades. Within half an hour Major Shabbir Sharif Shaheed cleared all Indian bunkers and took control of Saboona Ridge.
During all this Major Shabbir Sharif Shaheed came to know that there was an Indian wedding procession staying nearby. Without giving them any glimpse of his Pakistani identity he directed the procession towards safe Indian area.
The Indian Brigade Commander when heard about the occupation of ridge by Pakistani Army directed a company of Indian Soldiers with a squadron of tank to occupy. Out of 14 tanks 4 tanks were destroyed by Pakistani army in the first 5 minutes. The remaining ones repulsed. The Indians launched another attack to capture both ridge and bridge but they were repulsed again by Pakistani men of courage. Finally they launched another major attack on the Major Shabbir Sharif Shaheed and his company with 800 men. One of their general challenged Major Shabbir Sharif Shaheed for hand to hand fight in which the great Pakistani fell victorious.
On 6th of December 1971, Indians attacked again. One of the tanks was hit by fire of 102 mm gun manned by Major Shabbir Sharif Shaheed. However the other one spotted the Pakistani hero. It shelled only inches away from Major Shabbir Sharif Shaheed resulting in his martyrdom. During dying moments he was still recommending his subordinates not to lose bridge. His subordinates upon viewing the sacrifice of their leader fought with more vigor and managed to defend bridge.
He was awarded with Nishan e Haider for his bravery. He also had an honor of medaling with Sitara e Jurrat before his martyrdom.